Happy feast day, Papa!    There are so many wonderful pictures of John Paul II circulating today, but somehow I had forgotten his voice.  I posted this video a while back, and am still surprised at how moving something so tacky can be:


I really do think John Paul II would have loved this video.  He was so open and joyful and ready to improvise.

For something not steeped in yesterday's pop culture, here is a little clip of him singing -- really, performing -- the Ave Maria in 1976:



I laughed, and then teared up, when I heard those theatrical swoops and quavers.  We belonged to a heavily Polish parish when I was growing up, and that's the last time I've heard such crooning -- so schmaltzy, so sincere.  I had no idea he could sing like that!

And here he is chanting the Pater Noster: 

Happy feast day, Papa.  Pray for us, and ask Christ's help so that we learn to love sincerely and suffer patiently as you did.